Author: andrewkimsfoodblog

Pickling Jalapenos and Banana Peppers

I was brainstorming what type of product to pickle, and wanted to go with something that you could eat with a steak, or other meat dish.   I decided to go with pickling Jalapenos that would give most dishes a nice kick.   I looked online to get an idea of what the recipe would require, and found one I liked at Simply Scratch:

INGREDIENTS:

15 large Jalapenos, stems trimmed {discarded} and sliced

2 Garlic Cloves, smashed and peeled

1 cup Distilled White Vinegar

1 cup Filtered Water

4 tablespoons Sugar

2 tablespoons Kosher Salt

 

I modified it a little bit to add Banana Peppers to get a little bit of variety, as well as some colour to the finished product.   I spent some time gathering the ingredients and chopping up the jalapenos and banana peppers.

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The recipe called for two garlic cloves, but I added a third because too much garlic is never really a bad thing.

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I combined all the ingredient except the peppers into a pot and set it to high to wait for it to boil.

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When the water came to a boil, I tossed in the jalapenos and banana peppers, and turned off the heat to let it submerge in the liquid for 15 minutes.   The peppers changed in colour to a dull green and yellow.   I was sure not to overcook the peppers to ensure they retained their crunch.

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After tossing everything into the mason jar and letting it cool, I sealed the jar and put it into the fridge.

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And here we have the final product!  When trying both the banana peppers and the jalapenos, both came out better than expected for such a simple process.   Both retained a nice crunch when biting into the product, while I noted that the jalapenos were more resilient in the hot water than its banana pepper counterpart.   To be honest, there isnt much I would change to the process as everything came out better than expected.   The sugar to vinegar ratio was spot on to ensure that the peppers were not overpowered by either side.

Seeing how simple the process of pickling was, I hope to try new items in the near future to  compliment the dishes I eat at home.

 

References

McNamara, L. (2013, May 23). Easy Homemade Pickled Jalapeños – Simply Scratch. Retrieved November 13, 2016, from http://www.simplyscratch.com/2013/05/easy-homemade-pickled-jalapenos.html

Physalis Goldenberry from St. Lawrence Market

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In my quest to find a new exotic fruit I had never tried, I found myself at St. Lawrence Market.   This is a market I frequent to buy fresh seafood and meats for BBQ, and they always carry a fresh variety of fruits and vegetables as well.   While the market may be just down the street from our class, it was voted the top Food Market in the world by National Geographic in 2015 (Food Journeys of a Lifetime, 2009).

White browsing the selection of produce at the market, I came across a section of “Tropical Fruits”.   I looked over the items before settling on a small basket of Goldenberry’s.   The fruit looked unfamiliar and exotic enough to suit the needs of the blog.   I was a little indecisive and bought a starfruit as a backup as well.   I knew some exotic fruits may be an acquired taste, so I was pleased when the Goldenberry gave off a sweet scent.

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The Goldenberry originates from South America, and is a member of the Physalis family.   It is about 2 centimeters in diameter and closely resembles an unripe tomato encased within a leaf pod (Morton 1987).

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I had no idea what to expect from the Goldenberry, yet it looked palatable enough with an agreeable smell.   The exterior is smooth just like a tomato, and the seeds are very small and edible.   I had heard this was a fruit commonly used in desserts and expected a much sweeter flavour.   However, I was presented with a sweet yet fairly sour flavour, and plenty of tiny small seeds.   I have no idea why I thought it might be seedless, perhaps it reminded me of a cherry tomato where the seeds are not very prominent.   The initial flavour from the bite wasnt the usual sweet fruit and reminded me more of some vegetables like a pepper.   The sweetness intensified before giving off a unique after taste similar to Kyoho grapes.

If I were to personally use this food for cooking, I think I would use it to create perhaps a jam that isnt as traditionally sweet, or to put on pastries that dont require a lot of sweetener as well.   Upon looking online for recipes, the ones I thought sounded the best were the salad’s that incorporated the Goldenberry.   The one I found uses dried Goldenberries combined with mozzarella, celery, and avocado, drizzled with a vinaigrette.   Given the flavour of the fruit and its lack of sweetness, I found this to be an appropriate use of the fruit.

This was a valuable experience because I no longer go out looking for new fruits to try.   I think i’m in a rut of eating the same standard fruit year after year.   I think going out and trying the Goldenberry taught me the importance of constantly evolving to meet the new market needs.   The Goldenberry while not the most popular fruit, definitely has a distinct flavour, and finding the perfect dish to incorporate the fruit may bring it more main stream.

 

References

Steph. (2015, December 09). Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market Ranked Best Food Market In … Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.narcity.com/toronto/torontos-st-lawrence-market-ranked-best-food-market-in-the-world/

Morton JF (1987). “Cape gooseberry, Physalis peruviana L. in Fruits of Warm Climates”. Purdue University, Center for New Crops & Plant Products.

St. Lawrence Market | Central Toronto Real Estate. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://ilovetoronto.com/toronto-neighbourhoods/st-lawrence-market-real-estate
Avocado Salad with Goldenberries – Terrafertil Goldenberries. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.terra-fertil.co.uk/recipes/avocado-salad-goldenberries/

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

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Keeping with the theme so far of BBQ’d foods, I decided to try a new restaurant at Church and Adelaide.   It was intriguing as I had never had Japanese BBQ, and wasn’t quite sure what to expect.   It was almost a fusion BBQ joint that served a wide variety of meats to be grilled at the table:

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What made this a great location for our theory class was that I was able to try a wide variety of foods and flavours.   In addition to getting 5 different types of meat to BBQ, we were given a 3 sauce dish depending on what we found palatable.   This ensured you would experience the five basic tastes of salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umame while consuming this meal.

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In terms of variety, this was a great place as we had different flavours and different textures of meat to be grilled.   In addition, grilling your own meat gave us the option of cooking our meats to our desired temperature.   Finally, you cant really hate a place that serves litre mugs of beer!

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While 4 of the dishes were the usual beef or pork belly you may find at a BBQ, I did order one unknown item off the menu called Horumon.   Seeing as how this dish looked a little unusual, I decided not to look up what it was until I had eaten it.   I have to apologize as I took quite possibly the worst photo of this new dish… I got caught up eating the food, and I am not accustomed to photographing my meals lol, nevertheless here is the Horumon:

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I did enjoy the Horumon more than expected, probably cause I was unaware what it was.   It seemed to be a very fatty piece of meat that needed to be cooked well done.   I almost expected a gamey or sour flavour, but it seemed to be more sweet and savoury.   To be honest, the flavour was very underwhelming to say the least, the main experience was in the texture.   It is almost a really fatty piece of meat you have to chew thoroughly to ingest. I should warn that there were many flareups as it was very fatty.   While I did find the food somewhat palatable, the texture made me immediately think of intestines, which I did not google to confirm until I got home.   My suspicions were right, and im not sure if I would order this dish again as there were so many other options of meats.

Overall, this was a good experience at Gyu-Kaku where you are able to enjoy an activity of grilling your own meat.   I enjoyed that they had a combination of sauces to tailor make your meal to your own taste buds.   Would I get the Horumon again?   probably not, but i’ll check out Gyu-Kaku again for the meats I have yet to try… and the 32oz beer!

 

Andy’s official first blog and selfie

Andy’s official first blog and selfie

Welcome Chef Boban, and fellow classmates of HOSF1029,

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My name is Andrew Kim, and this photo you see  is the very first selfie ever taken by yours truly.   I have enrolled in George Brown’s Chef Training program, as I wanted to branch off into a different career path where I would work towards being self employed.   I hope to keep a blog of my experiences here as I work through all of the culinary classes.

I am not currently working in the industry and have no previous experience in the kitchen.  Believe it or not, I have spent the last several years working for one of the major banks in mortgage financing before deciding to leave this summer.   It perhaps took too long for me to realize that I do not have a passion in making a  greedy multinational corporation more rich.

I’m not certain if I have a personal philosophy in cooking just yet, as I am just beginning this new career path.   However, I have always been interested in doing the basics properly, and am an advocate of setting a strong foundation for future growth, I expect to tackle my culinary skills and knowledge the same way.   However, in the meantime, I have always enjoyed a long BBQ with slow cooked meats, always accompanied with a pint!

“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but its a start.”      (Anthony Bourdain. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved September 18, 2016, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/anthonybou714448.html)

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(Staff, B. (2004, May). Beer and BBQ. Retrieved September 17, 2016, from http://byo.com/hops/item/186-beer-and-bbq)

 

 

 

I believe the Blogging assignments will be beneficial in getting to know and understand our fellow classmates throughout the year.   I find some of the classes can be quite hectic at times, and it leaves very little opportunity to get to know your classmates on more than a superficial level.   I hope these blogs give us an opportunity to get to know some colleagues on a deeper level.

I have only recently begun following some food blogs, but I seem to enjoy the more lighthearted comical ones.   One I have been following is http://www.thepizzle.net which covers strange food articles that would not normally be considered traditional, yet it was recently nominated for Saveur’s 2016 Blog Awards.   The reason why I selected this particular blog is because it doesn’t find it necessary to follow the traditional food blog blueprint, yet is very popular.   While I like their strategy of discussing food while focusing on an entirely different theme, I hope to keep a stronger focus on the culinary experience in my own personal blog.

Until next time… Cheers!
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